Telecommunications engineers design, test and build telecommunications networks for phone, internet, radio, TV and satellite communications.
What does a Telecommunications Engineer do?
Telecommunications engineers design, test and build telecommunications networks such as telephone and internet networks, radio and television broadcasting and satellite communications.
As a telecommuncations engineer, you would:
- design telecommunication networks
- deciding on the technology to be used and the location of cables or broadcasting equipment
- oversee installation by telecommunications technicians and installers
- work with a variety of communication networks and equipment including copper-wire networks, fibre-optics, and satellite and wireless communication technologies
- use computers to monitor networks and broadcasting equipment remotely.
Key skills and interests
To become an telecommunications engineer, you would need:
- excellent maths and IT skills
- preactical technical skills
- the ability to produce and interpret technical diagrams
- the ability to analyse complex problems and assess possible solutions
- the ability to explain design ideas clearly
- strong decision-making skills
- to keep up to date with rapid changes in telecommunications technology.
Working hours and conditions
You would usually work a standard number of hours, although this is likely to include shift work. You may have to work occasional overtime in order to meet deadlines on projects.
Telecommunications engineers usually work for one of the large telecommunications companies, for the NBN, or for large companies who have their own communications networks in places like remote mine sites. Some telecommunications engineers also work in research facilities, or for Signal Corps in the Defence Forces.
You may need your own transport to get from site to site.
How to become an Telecommunications Engineer?
Entry Level Education
To become a telecommunications engineer you usually have to complete a degree in engineering with a major in electronic and communication engineering. To get into these courses you usually need to gain your senior secondary school certificate or equivalent. English, mathematics, chemistry and physics would be appropriate subjects to study prior to university.
Graduates may be eligible for membership of Engineers Australia.
Employment of telecommunications engineers is projected to grow slower than the average for all occupations.
Employment is declining in the telecommunications industries, specifically in wired telecommunications carriers, which employs most of these workers. Consumers are increasingly demanding wireless and mobile services, which often require less installation than landline-based services.
However, job growth can be expected in developing and applying emerging technologies in mobile, wireless and satellite communications.
Job growth will largely occur in companies that provide non-wired services, and in engineering services firms.